The E-News site has been inactive since February 2011 and may contain outdated information and/or broken links. For current and up-to-date Tufts news and information, please visit Tufts Now at
Tufts University e-news

Search  GO >

this site people
Tufts University Logo Bottom Search Bottom  
left side photo

The Ninth Inning

The Ninth InningAs graduation approaches, a talented Tufts catcher looks back on her record-breaking softball career. Medford/Somerville, Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.28.03] Lis Drake's softball career has been nothing short of a home run. In her four-years of play at Tufts, the talented catcher has earned the respect of her coach and teammates - as well as numerous school records. Now, with less than a dozen games left until graduation, the Tufts senior is in the home stretch of her accomplished career.

"All the records are really amazing and really great," Drake told the Lowell Sun. "I've worked really hard and I'm really proud of them. But I would never have the records without every single one of my teammates."

Over her four-year playing career, Drake has rewritten much of the women's softball team record book. With 30 career home runs, she is the University's all-time leader. Drake also holds the highest number of runs batted in, 124, as well as a record 34 doubles. She is also the all-time school leader in total bases - an exceptional 267.

"Nobody hits the ball as hard as she does," Kris Herman, head coach of the women's softball team at Tufts, told the Sun. "She can have a bad swing and still hit it out of the park."

Herman says the Tufts senior - a two-time All-American - is accomplished not only at the plate, but behind it as well.

"She's the best catcher we've ever had," said Herman, who has coached the Tufts softball team for 16 years. "She's one of the best catchers in the country."

The Tufts coach says that Drake's overall skills have had a major influence on the team's success. With a .374 batting average, 29 runs and 7 home runs during her freshman season, Drake helped the Jumbos win the Division 3 College World Series in 2000 for the first time in the program's history.

"She could throw it from home plate to the fence - two hundred feet - no problem," Herman told the Sun, describing Drake's ability to pick off runners trying to steal bases. "She has a huge impact on the game because runners don't take big leads. The bottom line is people just don't try to run on her much."

Drake has helped the Jumbos win three New England Small College Athletic Conference titles - and according the Sun, a fourth is in reach this year. Which is no surprise to Drake's former coach, who says she has always been a dedicated player.

"[Drake has] a great work ethic. After practice she would run a couple of miles," said Bruce Rich, Drake's high school coach. "If there was a home run record she would have it at Chelmsford High. She would hit 240-foot outs because players were camping out there. I'm not surprised at all that she's done so well [at Tufts]."

He added, "We've had some great kids come through the program and she's as good as it gets. She's a special kid."

Drake, a Child Development major who plans to attend graduate school in Washington D.C. and work with deaf children next year, is excited for her future after graduation, but says it is difficult to say goodbye to her softball career.

"It's really, really sad that it's coming to an end," Drake told the Sun. "It's not something that's been a small part of my life. It's been a huge part of my life for so many years."

Related Stories
Related Links
Featured Profile